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Martin Luther King papers fetch $130,000 at Heritage Auctions in New York
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People "Distinguished NAACP Volunteer" cards belonging to Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., and his personal secretary Maude Ballou are displayed at Heritage Auctions on October 16, 2013 in New York. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s handwritten notes, writings and correspondence from the Maude Ballou Civil Rights Papers, are scheduled to be auctioned by Heritage Auctions October 17, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Don Emmert.
NEW YORK (AFP).- Dozens of handwritten notes, writings and letters of Martin Luther King Jr were sold at auction in New York for more than $130,000, Heritage Auctions said Friday.

The more than 100 artifacts had been in the possession of King's close friend and personal secretary, Maude Ballou, 88, for more than half a century.

Eight cards of handwritten notes for a speech that King gave to bid farewell to his congregation at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in December 1959 fetched $31,250.

Other highlights were two letters King wrote to Ballou from India where he studied Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence that went for $18,750 and $17,500.

Two autograph draft chapters from his first book "Stride Toward Freedom" were also sold for $8,125 each.

The US civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who campaigned for racial equality and an end to discrimination, was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage, said the material provided "a ground-level perspective of the civil rights struggle."

"There was worldwide interest in the material and the emotional response to it was huge," she said.

The items were sold as part of a two-day auction of historic manuscripts in New York that continues Friday.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

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